Immaculately clean and friendly
Mixed and single-sex dorms and private rooms at Harbourside Backpackers are smart and shiny clean, immaculate almost to the point of feeling a little sterile, but thankfully the friendly staff add some semblance of warmth.
Air-con dorms provide sturdy wooden bunkbeds and windows that let in lots of sunlight. Private rooms come in configurations to suit solo travellers through to families, with share or private facilities. We thought the privates a little boxy and overpriced considering they offer nothing more than a bed, and better value can be found in some local hotels.
Spotless share bathrooms will have you believing this place is brand new, and not several years old (they opened in 2012); it’s really one of the cleanest hostels we’ve seen in Sabah. A spacious and comfy communal lounge offers big inviting couches and a sizeable flatscreen TV along with a good selection of DVDs. It’s also a great spot for meeting other travellers.
Included breakfast is served in the share kitchen, which is, you guessed it, spick and span. Drinks including beer are available to buy. Staff will go out of their way to help you get the best deals on last-minute Kinabatangan tours and offer advice on which is the right fit for you. Harbourside Backpackers is in a handy location, very close to the Harbour Mall and the waterfront. You’ll need to book — it’s popular. Nearby Sandakan Backpackers is a good alternative or for a private room, a decent budget hotel pick is May Fair Hotel.
Address: Lot 42, Block HS-4 Harbour Square, Sandakan
T: (089) 217 072;
Coordinates (for GPS): 118º7'10.36" E, 5º50'20.96" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 60 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dorm air-con||30 ringgit||30 ringgit|
|Sgl fan share bathroom||55 ringgit||55 ringgit|
|Sgl air-con private bathroom||65 ringgit||65 ringgit|
|Dbl air-con share bathroom||70 ringgit||70 ringgit|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||90 ringgit||90 ringgit|
|Triple air-con share bathroom||105 ringgit||105 ringgit|
|Triple air-con private bathroom||135 ringgit||135 ringgit|
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
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